Starting now, American Medical Response has begun staging an ambulance at Wyoming Fire Station #3 at 2300 Gezon Parkway SW, which serves the “panhandle” section of Wyoming. Recognizing that most of the 911 calls coming from this area were medical in nature, the Wyoming Department of Public Safety made the Gezon station available to AMR as a primary posting location of an ambulance that will serve southwest Wyoming.
WKTV’s Citizen Journalism Department had a chance to interview Public Safety Director James Carmody, who was the brainchild of the move.
“I would see the ambulance and workers sitting and waiting in a snowstorm. ‘That doesn’t look like fun’ We had an empty bay down on Gezon and it would reduce response time and would be a less distance to travel. It just made sense,” he explained.
This is the first of several enhancements to the Gezon station that the City plans to make over the coming months. Within the next few weeks, Public Safety plans to reopen the fire apparatus bays and assign a ladder truck, along with seven reserve firefighters, to begin fire response service to the area. The station is currently being used for fire and police training and education programs and community events.
Wyoming Mayor Jack Poll, Department of Public Safety Director James Carmody and AMR General Manager Dick Whipple praised the move as a way to improve response times to medical emergencies in Wyoming and the surrounding areas.
“This partnership with AMR is an example of how creativity can positively impact the safety and well-being of our residents,” Carmody said. “As our public safety service model continues to evolve, we are excited to discover new ways to streamline services and provide a higher level of police and fire and emergency medical services while not increasing expenses.”
Carmody explained that, in the past, an ambulance would be “posted” in a specific geographical location based on the call demand. Based on time of day and day of week demands an ambulance will often be stationed in a nearby parking lot, ready to respond to calls in that area. Going forward, the ambulance assigned to southwest Wyoming will now stage at the Gezon Fire Station.
“When Director Carmody approached us about the possibility of this partnership, we were both excited and appreciative of the opportunity,” said Whipple. “This type of collaboration is beneficial as communities look for innovative ways to ensure responsive emergency services for their residents. It will also give the ambulance crews an opportunity to get out of their vehicle, stretch their legs for a while and keep the ambulance clear of snow ice or rain, and ready to go.”
AMR has served the West Michigan region since 1952. Its collaboration with Wyoming is the next in a series of step the City has implemented in the development of its new public safety model. Other sustainable and efficient changes Wyoming has made in public safety service delivery include:
• Developing in-house crime lab capabilities
• Outfitting all police patrol vehicles with AEDs to quickly respond to the most serious medical emergencies
• Establishing a peak-load staffing and deployment model for the Wyoming Fire Service Bureau, which allows it to have more team members in place when call volumes are higher
• Cross-training Wyoming Public Works employees as certified firefighters as the City works to build a staff of 60 paid on-call firefighters
For further information, call the Wyoming Department of Public Safety at 530-7309, or visit the City website at www.wyomingmi.gov.
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